So is Ashton Kutcher’s spoof dating ad for Popchips funny or racist – or both? is a funny idea (how come the name wasn’t taken?) but Ashton Kutcher’s ad for snack brand Popchips seems to have rattled a few cages, being variously described as tasteless and even racist. In it Ashton, the former Mr Demi Moore and the new star of Two and a Half Men, puts on ‘brown face’ to play a randy Bollywood producer (among others).

Well I think it’s pretty funny although it could have been snappier. The brown face issue is interesting; does this mean you can’t impersonate Asian people (or any non-white people) in such a way?

Anyway, Popchips is presumably grateful for all the publicity (although not necessarily its nature). As Kutcher is following in the spectacular footsteps of bad boy actor Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men it presumably won’t do the show any harm either.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.